Good Example Of History-Palestinian Refugee Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Women, Middle East, Culture, Homelessness, Palestinian, Society, Palestine, Role

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/02

Over the years, Palestinian refugees have been put on the light, despite no particular history explaining these refugees. Palestinian migration to Lebanon traces back to 1948, after World WarI, following the adverse conditions that still persisted in Palestine. Palestinians migrated to Lebanon tracing back from 1969 to 1973, in search of ample grounds for their living. Arguably, they formed four major Campsites in the region around Palestine, which were basically the same apart from the physical conditions and generations that made them different. The four sites are; Gaza, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank Jordan. This brought the issue of class as well, apart from the different roles women took to sustain their living while in the camps. Therefore, this paper seeks to explain the role of women and the issue of class in the refugee camps in Lebanon. The West Bank and Lebanon ranked the highest whereas Gaza was the lowest. Syria and Jordan were fair as compared to Gaza. From the few examples cited, this paper will seek to explain the role women played and their reflection on today’s society as well.
There is a lot to learn from the history of Palestinians migrations, first being the role of women in the society. As known, the refugee camp sites were abandoned, and small land filled which was initially used by the French military. Initially, Palestinians were agrarians, which their social construction entailed. Women were excluded from inheriting land, following the Humulla traditions that Palestinians initially set. However, after migration, Humulla traditions lacked their meanings due to the “tiny” pieces of land that they had to occupy with a large number of populations. However, the fact that women remain marginalized still existed in the refugee camp, with many women being abandoned to carry out the daily activities whereas their “men” went out to in search of better “pastures” never to come back (Marie 186). Despite the cultures that were abandoned, even when moving into a new land, the cultural role of women still remained. That is reproduction and transmission of culture from one generation to the other. This explains the enormous number of refugee camps in Lebanon over the years. Women have been obedient to culture, which can be related to most Arab nations, where women have to be obedient to culture as well as play the role of “full-time housewives” no matter the circumstances. Apart from accepting the marginalization part, women would still place themselves under the men for the purpose of culture as well as the nature of the camps giving them.
However, this has been witnessed differently over the years, with women resistance arising from the Palestinian camps and fighting for their rights (Julie 27). These movements aid significantly in advocating the rights of the marginalized group in community and fighting to abolish the culture that suppresses specific people. Despite the fact that there are other social cultures that tie down the women in the name of “culture”, much can be learnt through the movements created that seek to push the women to act. By this, it means that the women participate in decision-making processes, get to decide “otherwise” in some situations, and learn to speak up whenever they are oppressed. Breaking away from traditions that would cost them their families, culture and tradition is not an easy thing; however, it displays the magnitude of power that women have within themselves (Kanafani 80).
The return of the children of Palestinians to Haifa led to criticism that from those who had been left behind criticizing their parents especially the fathers for abandoning while they were very young (Kanafani, 83). The returnees were filled with guilt and felt embarrassed but it could not make the pain of those who had been left behind go away irrespective of the explanations they had to give or the leaving. As seen from the book, when Dov is telling Khalif he didn’t have to leave Haifa ((Kanafani 83)). Their return brought a lot of mourning for their lost ones and memories of their experience during the fight for the liberation (Kanafani 78). The returnees went to the locations where their homes were located and found that they were already occupied by other people.
It is seen that Palestinian society was dictated by a crude selfishness and egoism where those who were connected and fit could survive. The poor and weak with also those who had no influence were the losers in the society. Many Palestinians were dominated by greed and became filled with the occupier culture thus being rude, lacking courtesy, and dominated by selfishness and lack of concern for others. Conflicts arose in the extended families where the western bank is criticizing the returnees for not dressing properly and speaking limited Arabic. There were intermarriages between the Palestine American returnees and the men who came to Palestine in order to acquire brides and take them back to America (Kanafani 71).


Traditions always ensure that the people of the “like-minded” stick together. However, this one should not serve the purpose or the reason for oppression, with attributes that seek to “misuse” one group. From the study, revolution could always mean the abolition of “unwanted, crude and uncouth” practices, but still, the good old practices from the root could be practiced as long as all the parties involved are comfortable. Learning from this example, it is important to note that the women represent the oppressed in the society whereas the camp sites represent the neglected group as well. These groups can only do better whenever they rise above marginalization and speak for themselves. It is clear that Palestinians will always adore their culture as well as maintain it despite any revolution wave that might come on their way.

Works Cited

Peteet, Julie. "From refugees to minority: Palestinians in post-war Lebanon," Middle East Report
(1996): 27-30.
Peteet, Julie Marie. Landscape of hope and despair: Palestinian refugee camps. University of
Pennsylvania Press, 2005.
Kanafani, Ghassan. "Return to Haifa." Palestine’s Children, London: Heinemann (1984).

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